There were thirty German generals and three admirals held by the United States as prisoners of war during WWII.  A memorandum from the Special War Problems Division of the Department of State advised camp commanders in contact with high-ranking captives that a general’s status and prestige in Germany far exceeded that of an American general.

It was noted that once the war was over, these officers would be repatriated, and it was hoped by their care and treatment that they would return to Germany with a favorable impression of America. They were to be treated with the deference due their positions.

Educational material and films were made available to these prisoners from the Office of War Information, emphasizing the enormous economic strength and industrial power of the American war effort.  These men were taken on tours of American shipyards and major ordinance depots.  Their itineraries included cultural visits to Mt. Vernon, Williamsburg, various universities, and high schools that were deemed to be “distinctly American.”

Guards of these high-ranking generals were to be unmatched in character and appearance.  An officer was assigned to teach them English, and they were each given a radio for their personal use.

Many of the generals were housed at Camp Clinton, Mississippi, where they lived in separate houses scattered over a large area to give the inhabitants a feeling of privacy and seclusion.  They also had their own refigerators, POW gardners, and most had a pet.

Please read a chapter of my novel “The Swastika Tattoo” at

Next time: The great escape at Camp Papago Park, Arizona.

Copyright Geraldine Birch.  All rights reserved.

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